Russia’s Blueprint for Cyber Warfare
Gerasimov Doctrine Sets Russian Cyber Strategy
The chief of Russia’s general staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, laid out the Russian military’s cyber warfare strategy in a 2013 article. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Russia’s military laid out what is now seen as a blueprint for cyberwarfare with a 2013 article in a professional journal by general Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia’s general staff.
Lessons from Arab Spring Social Media Usage
Drawing on the lessons of the Arab Spring uprising that saw the widespread use of social media, Gerasimov stated that cyberspace ‘opens wide asymmetrical possibilities for reducing the fighting potental of the enemy’.
Russia’s current ability to mask ground operations and launch unattributable cyber attacks has garnered the name of ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ in US defence circles. Gerasimov’s key principle is to use cyberspace to fight without fighting – an idea rooted in Sun Tzu’s Art of War – by using information to disguise, deceive and mislead.
Russia’s cyber capability was first noticed by the West after concerted hacking targeted Estonia following the removal of a Soviet-era memorial. Since then, the Georgian and Ukrainian governments have also suffered cyber bombardment. Most recently, US officials accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
Photo: Cyber Security by Sgt Ross Tilly (Crown Copyright, 2015).